The Bluejays pulled off their second win in a row, 17-13, on a blustery day thanks to a tremendous effort from the defense with just minutes left to keep Southwestern from a touchdown. The win puts Tabor at 3-6 overall and 2-6 in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Tabor put points on the board first with an Anthony Pacheco field goal with 2:16 left in the first quarter, 3-0. The points came after both teams recovered fumbles early in the first quarter, but failed to capitalize on the opportunity.
Southwestern came back at 14:18 in the second quarter, driving down field for a touchdown from senior tight end Adam Hilker, 7-3.
After the Bluejays could not make points out of a Spencer Brown fumble recovery, the Builders put up a field goal for a 10-3 lead with 3:21 remaining in the half.
Southwestern got a strong start to the second half, putting up a field goal on their first possession, 13-3.
Things were not looking good for the Bluejays, but at 11:22 Tabor got a lucky break as they recovered a Builder fumble off a punt return. It appeared Tabor would have to punt, but in a twist of fate a roughing the kicker penalty gave the Bluejays a first down. With freshman quarterback Simon McKee running and passing down field, Tabor moved into the red zone. McKee broke free for a Bluejay touchdown with 6:34 left in the third quarter. With the extra point, it was a 13-10 ball game.
From then on, it was all defense.
With 5:36 remaining in the third, Tabor’s Justin Vargas snagged the pick at close to the Builder 20-yard line and ran it in for a Bluejay touchdown. Pacheco made the extra point and just like that, the Bluejays led the game, 17-13.
Tabor would give up two turnovers to Southwestern in the fourth quarter. The Builders took the second one, a fumble on a punt return, all the way back up the field. Southwestern had a first and goal advantage with 1:40 left in the game, but the Tabor defense stepped up and stopped them in a fourth and two situation to save the touchdown and ensure a Bluejay victory.
The Bluejays will ride their two-game win streak to Friends University Saturday, hoping for a victory to close out regular season play.